Marshside, 30th May 2010

It was a cute baby bird spectacular today. We took the train from Central just after 10am to Southport then the 42 bus from Lord Street to the junction of Marshside Road and Lytham Road. We were in the Sandgrounders hide by 20 to 12. On the way we saw a Swan on a nest, a Heron hunting and some Avocets flying. Swallows were nesting in the eaves outside the hide. There were plenty of Black-tailed Godwits in the pool in front of the hide, plus at least one Redshank, and a large flock of Starlings behind them. But our attention was caught by a family of four tiny Avocet chicks, wading through the water and swishing their tiny beaks back and forth, just like the adults. They were close enough to see that their legs were greyish-blue, not black. Their parents were very attentive and aggressive, seeing off all other Avocets and even menacing the odd Starling who was sneaking through the reeds, trying to get nearer to the chicks.
Across the field we saw some Canada Geese with goslings – 10, 11, was it 12? Then we realised that there were several sets of parent birds and this was a crèche of about two dozen youngsters.  A pair of Shelduck had just a single duckling, beautifully marked in white and russet.  Swallows, House Martins and Swifts were all hunting across the water.
After lunch we walked along to Nel’s hide. An Oystercatcher was sitting on a nest in full view. There was a female duck nearby who definitely wasn’t a Mallard. Female ducks are very tricky to identify, but she may have been a Gadwall.  Three tiny Lapwing chicks were pottering through the mud and reeds just under the hide window. Until they moved they were very hard to see because they were just the same colour as the mud. 
We walked back up Marshside Road, passing two llamas in a field (or were they alpacas?) At the bus stop at the corner of Elswick Road we watched a brood of three or four fluffy baby Sparrows on a fat ball hanging on a garden wall. The 44D bus took us back to Southport in time for the train at half past two, and we were in Liverpool City Centre by a quarter past three.  

This entry was posted in Sunday Group. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply